Charles Cowens…District Volunteer [Cue Music]


I signed the bal­lot ar­gu­ment (the re­but­tal part) against the lat­est WCCUSD bond mea­sure (mea­sure H) to in­crease our “Ramsey tax.” Although I would have writ­ten things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, I thought it was im­por­tant to take a stand against the bond mea­sure.

I would have been more re­but­ting in the re­but­tal. The safety ca­nard (af­ter 6 bonds they haven’t ad­dressed con­cerns about as­bestos yet?) should have been con­fronted. Also, the rou­tine recital of tax­payer pro­tec­tions, our com­mit­tee and the au­dits, should have been called out on the grounds that they aren’t very pro­tec­tive if we need a sev­enth bond.

Anyway, orig­i­nally, I thought I would sign it as “Member, WCCUSD Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee [For ID Purposes Only]”. However, at a re­cent CBOC meet­ing, a mem­ber raised con­cerns about mem­bers us­ing their af­fil­i­a­tion with the CBOC, so I de­cided I couldn’t com­fort­ably use it with­out some kind of dis­cus­sion in the com­mit­tee first.

In the mean­time, I have to use some des­ig­na­tion that ex­plains how I am con­nected to the is­sue be­yond just be­ing a cit­i­zen. I de­cided on “District Volunteer” as the best fall-back. I vol­un­teer as a pub­lic of­fi­cial in the West County Unified School District by be­ing on this com­mit­tee.

However, when I looked at this, I im­me­di­ately thought it was a ti­tle for some 30’s-style ra­dio drama like “Nick Danger…Third Eye” (Firesign Theater ref­er­ence). In this case, it’s “Charles Cowens…District Volunteer.” So, in the in­ter­ests of fun, I’ve de­cided I need a theme song as Charles Cowens…District Volunteer.” After care­ful de­lib­er­a­tion, I’ve de­cided on the open­ing to Danger Man a.k.a. Secret Agent, Patrick McGoohan’s big show be­fore The Prisoner.

1 thought on “Charles Cowens…District Volunteer [Cue Music]

  1. It seems that no­body is go­ing to take up my no­tion to sue the District for plac­ing a non-con­form­ing 55% bond mea­sure on the bal­lot. How about an eas­ier and cheaper an­gle? File a for­mal sworn FPPC com­plaint against Charles Ramsey’s “For the Children of West County” PAC, charg­ing that it has failed to: (1) prop­erly reg­is­ter and re­port as a Primarily Formed Committee, and (2) prop­erly reg­is­ter and re­port as a Candidate Controlled Committee.

    For #1, note that the PAC has never en­gaged in any ac­tiv­i­ties other than rais­ing funds and run­ning cam­paigns for WCCUSD tax mea­sures, and that it is cur­rently en­gaged in no ac­tiv­ity other than rais­ing money and cam­paign­ing for the June 3 bond. That’s the de­f­i­n­i­tion of Primarily Formed; For the Children of West County is in vi­o­la­tion.

    For #2, note that Ramsey (cru­cially, an elected of­fi­cial) him­self fre­quently brags in pub­lic that he per­son­ally has raised all of the funds for the tax mea­sure cam­paigns and that he runs the cam­paigns. That’s the de­f­i­n­i­tion of Candidate Controlled; the PAC is in vi­o­la­tion.

    The FPPC will find against the PAC but not un­til af­ter the elec­tion and the penalty will be, at best, a slap on the wrist. That’s not what mat­ters. The aim is to is­sue a press re­lease upon fil­ing the com­plaint, “WCCUSD bond cam­paign vi­o­lat­ing cam­paign law; lo­cal group files for­mal com­plaint.” (Or “Taxpayer group files …”). Contra Costa Times, lo­cal blogs, pos­si­ble ra­dio and TV will pick this up, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to pub­licly ex­plain the cor­rupt pay-to-play prac­tices at WCCUSD and the bizarre ab­sence of any cap­i­tal plan­ning be­hind these bonds. And the lack of any Board or com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion about need for bonds. Etc etc. Local re­porters will be all over it, es­pe­cially be­cause they’re al­ready at­tuned to tax is­sues in West County from the (failed) hos­pi­tal par­cel tax.

    It’s prob­a­bly best that the FPPC com­plaint, press re­lease, etc come from a stu­dent advocate/​school sup­port or­ga­ni­za­tion or in­di­vid­ual, but Contra Costa Taxpayers would be good too. (If it needs to be said, I’m not in a po­si­tion that I can be the spokesper­son.)

    http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.php?id=498

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